How to Hear God's Voice
God is having this teaching shared to help people who want to hear God's voice and/or want to hear His voice better. It is awesome to hear God like Jesus heard God, as Jesus said that everything He said is what God told Him to "SAY" and everything He did is what God told Him to "DO". Although occasionally people hear God audibly however the more common way is internally. Sometimes a child of God only has seconds to be guided by God. For example, if a person comes to you privately in front of others and asks you to pray for God to forgive him because he just killed someone or to pray for her as a drug addict because she has an abortion scheduled in a few hours or a person confronts you in front of some new believers with a trick theological question. Jesus gives us an example of being arrested for following Him and assures us that we do not need to worry about what to say when on trial, "FOR THE WORDS YOU WILL SPEAK WILL NOT BE YOURS; THEY WILL COME FROM THE SPIRIT OF YOUR FATHER SPEAKING THROUGH YOU". 1
The following are two personal experiences of hearing God as a younger follower. One time I was going to play tennis with a friend from grad school when he got off work. He was running for an important elective position in the university and was in a runoff that day with an upperclassman who was very popular. I asked God if my friend won, thinking that I could show off by telling him he won. God responded, "Yes he won, tell him I said he won." I was nervously obedient to God but instead of showing off, I was exposing myself to possible failure, if I had heard God incorrectly and there were two more hours before people stopped voting. The next day my friend came running across the grad housing parking lot and stopped me, telling me he had just found out he won by one vote. I smiled and congratulated him but inside I thought I would never ask God again just to show off. Another time I asked God if it would be okay to ask which chapter in the bible to study out a possible 28 chapters on a major Greek test. God gave me the same answer four times but knowing the chapter was not enough and ultimately God had to speak to me without me asking Him, to guide me to the exact 5 verses out of a possible 1,010 verses. I learned from the Greek Miracle to let God guide me without me telling God how to help me.
The first step to hearing God's voice or to hearing it better is to ask. Ask God to help you hear His voice every time you need to or He wants you to. Jesus encourages us to "CONTINUE TO ASK, AND GOD WILL GIVE TO YOU". Some prefer after asking and they are confidant God heard them, to continue to thank God daily. You may say daily, "Thank you God in Jesus' name for helping me hear Your voice". As you hear Him correctly and you continue to improve hearing His voice, you may thank God everyday by saying, "In Jesus' name thank you God for helping me hear Your voice better". 2
A second step is to practice hearing God's voice. Ask God questions with a "yes" or "no" possible answer like "should I eat lunch now?" or "should I go to the store now?" etc. As you progress and know you are hearing God, you may ask choice questions like "should I use the highway or city streets to go to church?" or "should I return that phone call now or should I wait until morning?" As you get more comfortable hearing God's voice and are confident that you are hearing Him accurately, you may simply ask, "What should I do next" or "What teaching should I share next Sunday?" Be careful when God tells you something, to seek His guidance on what to do with the information. One time God told a young woman she was to marry a certain young man who appeared to be a confirmed bachelor. She decided she knew what to do next and took over by immediately going and telling the young man what God told her and it scared him so bad he wouldn't even speak to her again. If you hear a response that seems strange or contrary to what you think God would want, take authority by saying "In the name of Jesus I command every demon to shut up, leave and not come back". Then ask the question again. Accept the second answer whether it is the same or different.
A third step is to be obedient. Obey what God tells you to do or say. As you grow to the point where hearing Him is not a concern, you may daily say, "Thank You God in Jesus name for guiding me in Your will in everything thing I think, say and do and guiding me to ask if I fail to perceive Your guidance".
God wants me to share a story how I was disobedient to what He told me to do. Many years ago when I was a baby follower, I had the opportunity to answer phones and pray with people who were watching a new weekly TV program. This was a new ministry effort with everyone and when I ask the man in charge what to do, he point to my bible and said rudely, "You have a bible, use it". Over the weeks, I developed a list of scriptures with subjects and when someone mentioned their concern, I would ask them to go get their bible. While they were away from the phone I would pray and select a scripture to fit their situation. When they came back to the phone I would ask them to read a scripture and then ask, "Does that sound like your problem?" And when they said "yes", I would pray for them. One evening a middle age woman called who told me she was a Methodist and said that she was not sure she was saved. While she was getting her bible, God said to me, "CAST OUT A DEMON FROM HER". I argued with God mentioning several good reasons not to cast out a demon and my major concern was that I would offend her by the idea. Then I was disobedient to God. When she came back I asked her to read a scripture on faith. She got something wrong from what I asked because she started reading a story of Jesus casting out a demon. I closed my bible and raised my hands surrendering and praising God. When she finished the story. I asked her like normal, "Does that sound like your problem?" She calmly said, "Yes". And then I cast out the demon over the phone and after prayer God filled her with His spirit. It is good to stay open to God as He can still use us even when we are initially disobedient.
It is good to be obedient to God, even if it doesn't make sense. To hear God like Jesus did in every way, it is good to be obedient in every way and develop an environment in your life that is pleasing to God. One way to be obedient can include obeying what God has told you previously concerning eliminating sin in your life. How much elimination of sin? Jesus guides us to "BE PERFECT JUST AS YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN IS PERFECT". Is it really possible to eliminate all sin and be prefect like God? No, it may not be humanly possible. But as Jesus tells us "WITH MAN THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE, BUT WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE". 3
Even if you are hearing God perfectly and have a very pure spiritual environment in your life you still need to subordinate yourself or as Jesus says, "DENY" yourself and what you think you should do or how you think you should respond and "ASK" God. Even if you have had the situation before and heard God's response previously you still need to ask God. One of the greatest men of God who frequently heard God's voice before Jesus walked the earth was Moses. God told Moses to "STRIKE THE ROCK" to get water. Then at another time when they needed water God told Moses to "SPEAK TO THAT ROCK" to get water and Moses was disobedient and struck the rock like he did the first time. God did punish Moses for his disobedience. To hear God like Jesus heard God we must hear every time or if we are not sure what God wants ask every time and be obedient like Jesus was when we heard one side on His conversation with God, "NOT AS I WILL, BUT AS YOU WILL". 4
1. Jn 12:49; 14:31; Mt 10:20 (GN)
2. Mt 7:7 (IC)
3. Mt 5:48 (IC); Mt 19:26 (NI)
4. Lk 9:23; Mt 7:7; Ex 17:6; Nu 20:8; Mt 26:39 (NI)
note: click here for bible verse and translation abbreviations
DID GOD TELL YOU?
Some people casually say "God told me " as a prelude to almost everything they say or do, appearing to use a claim of God's guidance to manipulate others and gain instant authority for what they say. A great man of God, Moses, heard God more than most people the last forty years of his life. Moses had conversations with God and one time when God threatened to "DESTROY" the children of Israel, Moses talked Him into changing His mind. A man of God greater than Moses, Jesus, gave us an example to strive for when He stated that everything He said is what God told Him to "SAY" and everything He did is what God told Him to "DO". This relationship with God is possible for us as Jesus says that those who believe in Him "WILL DO WHAT I DO". We cannot criticize people just for constantly claiming God's guidance, as Jesus gave us the awesome example of constantly following God's guidance, although He was not constantly claiming it or reminding people of it. 1
No, we are not at the mercy of "FALSE PROPHETS" who Jesus says will be more prevalent in these end times. Yes, we can recognize them "BY THEIR FRUIT". Not fruit the world admires like material success or large followings of people but fruit Jesus teaches us about, like not getting "ANGRY", having love for everyone including "ENEMIES", being quick to "FORGIVE" others, being humble with a subordinated ego as Jesus teaches we "MUST DENY" ourselves, etc. Bad fruits invalidate a person. Yes, God can use people with weak fruits or lack of good fruits and does speak to them, just like God speaks to people, who do not know Him personally. Recognizing a lack of fruit does not invalidate claims of "God told me ". We can recognize people with lying fruits, who God refers to as "TELLING LIES IN MY NAME", as they invalidated themselves by one false statement. When God shows a person to have falsely used His name, we must consider them totally discredited because lying is a bad fruit. If a person is new in learning to hear God's voice, they would be wise to not say "God told me " unless God specifically told them to include that statement. A person experienced in hearing God's voice will only say "God told me " if God guides him or her to share that detail. 2
Occasionally people experience a person saying, "God told me to tell you ". The best response, even if you have never heard God speak to you previously, is "Thank you, I am looking forward to God telling me", because at Jesus request God sent His spirit who is available to "GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH", including hearing God personally. God loves us so much He wants to be in a personal relationship with all of us and for all of us to hear Him. The best protection from "FALSE PROPHETS" is to know God personally. Know God in a way that only His son, Jesus, can "REVEAL" Him. Know God's unchanging attributes, such as mentioned previously, God does change His mind. Know God so well that you can ask Him questions, especially concerning people who say "God told me " casually. Know God so well that He guides you in what you say and what you do, so you can firmly say with confidence back to a person, "what you said is not from God!" 3
1. Ex 32:10; Jn 12:49; 14:31; 14:12 (GN)
2. Mt 24:11; 7:20; 5:22, 44; 6:14; 16:24 (NI); Jer 14:14-15 (GN)
3. Jn 16:13 (NI); Lk 10:22 (GN)
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